The Oakland Raiders fumbled the ball and the San Francisco 49ers picked it right up and ran in for a touchdown. I doubt there were many that believed Michael Crabtree, the highly acclaimed wide receiver out of Texas Tech, would still be around by the time the 49ers made their selection. A miracle would have to happen for that to be the scenario, correct? I didn't even consider him when people would ask me who I thought the team should pick. I simply figured he would be long gone. That miracle came when the Raiders made a highly criticized move by selecting wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey of Maryland. If you stood real still, you could hear the collective crying of Raider fans across the country.
Why did the Raiders skip on the most gifted wide receiver on every other team's draft board? I mean, Heyward-Bey wasn't even ranked as the second best receiver by many draft experts. Heyward-Bey's 40-time was most likely the reason for this odd selection of a player that probably would have still been available later. He may not have been the most gifted wide receiver available, but he was the fastest. And it was hard for the Raiders, who seem to love speedy and flashy players, to pass him up. Then if you look at the team's second round selection, you have to wonder what the Raiders think they are doing. Safety Michael Mitchell? Really? Most draft experts did not even include him in their rankings at all. This guy must be really fast!
However, the Raiders' blunder is the 49ers' gain. Finally the 49ers have what they have been missing since Terrell Owens left. A legitimate young playmaker at the wide receiver position. You pair him up with last year's selection, Josh Morgan, and you have to be really excited about the team's future at wide receiver. Plus you have the added bonus of Crabtree learning from one of the best receivers to play the game in Isaac Bruce. Crabtree may not have been the fastest guy available, but he knows how to make plays in the open field which will make him an exciting player to watch.
The selection also makes the August 22 preseason game against the Raiders a little more interesting. Heyward-Bey will be trying to win over the Raider Nation and show that he was the correct pick while Crabtree will be looking to show them why they passed on such a talented prospect.
As for the trading of the team's second round selection ... I actually like this move. Now the 49ers have two first round selections in the 2010 NFL Draft, a Draft that many believe to be a much stronger. The only negative is that the 49ers passed on a very talented defensive end in Everette Brown of Florida State, a guy that many mock drafts had going to the 49ers at the number 10 spot in the first round. Clearly the 49ers are planning for the big picture and understand that they have a better chance of finding more talent in next year's Draft. After all, the team could potentially make a push for 9-7 or even 10-6 (with a little luck) with the players that they have right now. And the team still has a whole other day to find some more young talent.
Thoughts on the new jersey design
I loved the team's throwback uniforms. They reminded me of better days. Many aspects of the new jerseys remind me of those uniforms from the glory years. However, when discussing the new design with fellow fans, I am left scratching my head about certain design aspects. The new design very much resembles the classic look with a few obvious exceptions. One is that the sleeve numbers have been moved to the shoulders because players do not like longer sleeves on jerseys. I can accept that. The second is the 49ers text logo above the chest numbers. Again, I can accept this. Although, I am left wondering how it would look to have the team logo (the SF) there instead. However, what they have produced does not look bad.
These next two items are my criticisms about the jerseys and they really only apply to the replica jerseys made available to fans because on the players themselves, with their pads and gear, they are hardly noticeable. The stripes on the sleeves look absolutely awful. Take a look at the replica jerseys on NFLshop.com or shop49ers.com. It looks like there was an error at the factory where these were printed and the machine messed up on the stripes. They almost remind me of the stripes on the Bengals' helmets. Only one of the three stripes makes it completely around the sleeve. Again, this is not as noticeable on the players' authentic jerseys because of the shoulder pads and sleeve elastic. But on the replicas, this looks like a mistake. The second problem I have with the jerseys is the collar. Someone described it as feminine looking, and you know what? They are correct. I'm not quite sure what is going on with the collar but it looks like they forgot to finish it. Again, this is something that is not as noticeable on the player worn jerseys so it will probably look pretty good on game days.
But really, was it necessary to make these "tweaks" to the jersey design? I mean, people loved the throwbacks. Move the numbers to the shoulder and be done with it. Then you have a jersey that looks real good and clean instead of one that looks like someone goofed. Hopefully the authentics, once available, will look a lot better for those fans willing to dish out the extra cash.
Two other things that I love include the return to the classic cherry red and the simpler numbers and name plates.
What are your thoughts on the new uniforms? Leave your comments below.
By: Nick Lozano
Date: August 2, 2009 at 7:15 PM
Comment: I CAN NOT STANT THESE NEW UNIFORMS!!!!!!!! WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE ONES WE HAD.? I DONT LIKE THE OLD HELMENTS AND PANTS WITH THE FLAT GOLD COLOR IS WACK AND I HATE THE GREY FACE MASK. I SAY KEEP THE SAME JERSEYS AND ADD A BLAK ALTERNATE JERSEY!
Date: May 9, 2009 at 7:17 AM
Comment: The new/throwback uniforms blow! The ones they have been wearing for the past 12 seasons were very sharp, not to bleeading edge, but tasteful and professional looking. The dark red jersey and gold pants looked great. Change the drop shadow numbers if you want and tweak the stripes to a more current look, fine. Keep the face mask RED. Changing the uniforms back to the 80s look will not make the team play like the "Team of the 80s". I wonder if the team had played better under the current ownership if they would have ever changed from the dark red/gold uniforms? Perhaps this is an attempt to have us simple fans believe the team will play better now that were back in the "Winning Uniforms". How stupid is that!
Date: May 6, 2009 at 3:39 PM
Comment: I cannot believe so many people don't like the jerseys. For years so many fans have been saying how much they love the throwbacks and wish they would just be our permanent jerseys. These new jerseys are the throwbacks with just a couple of modifications! I know people hate how the stripes look crooked on the replicas, but just look at how they look like on the players. They are perfectly straight and look very clean. Also, the stripes were clearly designed for the modern player because they show even when players (ie Justin Smith) cut their sleeves short. Another thing I keep reading is about the collars. How many times do you see players pulling down their collars in between games? These new collars are low enough that the players won't have to bother with that. So overall, I think the uniforms are great. They look just like the throwbacks, but are very functional for the players. And lastly, what is with the obsession with black uniforms? If you want to see black, just turn into a Raider fan...
By: Zach Ameen
Date: May 3, 2009 at 2:46 PM
Comment: Well, I believe that 49ers didn't do a good job when it comes to their 2nd pick to get ray Maulaga. Instead of trading 2nd and 4th for next year's late first round draft, they can give up 5th rounder to get Maulaga or butler who I beleive were first round talents. We need play makers now and we can't wait for next 200 years to make it in play offs. Good players build the teams but impact players win the championships. I think 49ers should get this asap or it will turn in to Lions with no wining records for 30 years
Date: May 1, 2009 at 5:47 AM
Comment: These uniforms are wack! They should have changed the whole color scheme all together...black pants black jerseys (home) would have rocked...stop try'na bring back the glory days by going back but instead bring back the glory days by moving forward...it's all about the future...we should have gotten retro with it...all in all...I still love my 9ers...
Date: April 29, 2009 at 7:23 PM
Comment: As much as i LOVE the new jerseys i don't think they're worthy to wear them YET. they should have waited to change into THOSE jerseys when they get into a new stadium...Should have gone with a whole new design.......But either way GO NINERS!!!!!...We abousta own the west.....
Date: April 29, 2009 at 11:25 AM
Comment: I wish they kept the maroon red, which really brought out the gold better. I also wish they didn't go back to the grey face mask. Every other team is doing this, and this old look is just boring. I might like it one day.
Date: April 29, 2009 at 7:29 AM
Comment: I HATE the shiny gold pants and gaudy gold helmets. BUFF is the way to go. Crabtree will make a difference for us, at least we can hang onto that. The lack of a big time OL/NT/DE pickup is frustrating, but the guys they got look like quality players.
Date: April 27, 2009 at 5:17 PM
Comment: I wished they would of stayed with the same maroon jersey and go with the white pants with gold black and maroon stripes down the side. That would ROCK. Thats what they wore in the 49ers last super bowl apperance.
Date: April 27, 2009 at 1:38 PM
Comment: The strips on the sleeves look terrible, but they are at least straight on the ones the players wore. The ones on NFLShop.com looked like Bengals strips . I can learn to live with it. I also don't like the logo with the glold ring. I much rather perfer the old school with just the black outline. But, my pet peeve are the pants. I can live with the shiney look, but the strip down the side of the pants should be wider. Not as wide as before maybe, but they went alittle too thin with these. Who knows if enough of us complain maybe they can correct these tweaks if enough fans complain. Anybody want to start a petition with me?
Date: April 27, 2009 at 10:15 AM
Comment: I'm disappointed with the new design. I know they can do better. The sleeve stripes are weird looking and they should have stuck with the traditional 3 stripes. The numbers on the pads are a good change though. Somehow the uniforms don't match with the logo since it still has a black accent to it. I wish they would have just gone to our '94-'95 jerseys instead. Anyhow, I hope this will bring us luck for the seasons henceforth. NINERS4LIFE!!! I also gotta thank good 'ol Al Davis for doing us a favor in passing up on Crabtree. Speed alone is only good for track not football.
By: alan s
Date: April 26, 2009 at 10:44 PM
Comment: I've been a 49er fan since 1966 @ Kesar @ age 11. My only criticism is they stuck with those 'gilded' gold colored pants. It should be 'blue collar' 'working man' buff like it was through the 60's, 70's and 80's. It makes me think that Jeds mother picked the gold and he couldn't hurt her feelings. Love the jerseys and helmets but hate the pants. Great draft guys. Go niners
Date: April 26, 2009 at 6:10 PM
Comment: i like the new jerseys but i am a bit confused. I understand that they wanted to go with the old look, however, during the past regular season games, they play with the throwbacks. The new jersey looked almost identical. I feel kind of shafted with the new jersey because they look like the same jersey i saw the niners wore in a couple of games last season. I really the cherry red but i also like the jerseys they wore over the last 12 years. I miss the SF logo on the sleeves. I am sure once I see Crabtree score his first TD wearing the new jersey I'll be fine with them.
By: Steve Arthur
Date: April 26, 2009 at 5:30 PM
Comment: I was a round in the old days when the uniforms were the new ones we have now? Why not just say were going back to the through backs. When I herd that the announcement about new uniforms being introduced on draft day "I thought cool a new stile maybe with some black mixed in there". No just the old uniforms, they have no imagination, too plain It would make sense if they were using leather helmets. Steve
Date: April 26, 2009 at 5:14 PM
Comment: I agree on everything you said about the replica jerseys. The stripes look terrible, and the reason is that the sleeves are just too long. If you look at the authentic jerseys the sleeves are short, and so the stripes don't look bad at all. I also agree that the collar is goofy, however you can't even tell when the players have their pads on. However, my BIGGEST problem with the replicas is that they are the WRONG color! They look like arizona cardinals red, and not the cherry red like the authentic jerseys. I just don't understand how they could make such a huge mistake. I have been looking everywhere for an answer to this. As far as everything else, I like the jerseys. It does seem like the team could have just used the throwbacks they had been wearing. Those are the best jerseys ever!
Date: April 26, 2009 at 3:54 PM
Comment: I was going to buy a new 49er jersey at the draft party but the jersey looked better on my girlfriend instead of me. Yes ,they look very feminine. I won't ever buy this jersey for myself. I agree with you this should be changed... I hope its not too late.
Date: April 26, 2009 at 11:02 AM
Comment: I had the same reaction as you when I saw the replicas. The sleeve stripes looked awful, but then when I saw the players I could not tell. So I guess I am okay with that. I love everything else about them, love that they kept the new gold and brought back the old red. I do wish they had gone back to the old logo, or just made the black thicker but no gold inside.
Date: April 26, 2009 at 8:55 AM
Comment: I have not noticed these imperfections you described. I too wonder why not just move the numbers to the shoulders of the old jersey and just go with that.